Hong Kong scholar to give Clarke Lecture in medical ethics

by Michael O. Garvey

Ruiping Fan, assistant professor of public and social administration at City University of Hong Kong, will give a lecture entitled “Beyond Liberty and Equality: Some Confucian Reflections on the Place of the Family in Health Care” at 4 p.m. Friday (March 19) in the auditorium of the University of Notre Dame’s McKenna Hall.

Fan advocates a strong role for the family in medical decisions, drawing on a Confucian appreciation of social bonds, rituals, virtues and responsibilities. The notion that families should play a role in determining the health care of their members is in tension with the individualist view of liberty now fashionable in the West and crucial in American bioethics. Fan is critical of this view and calls for a reconsideration of the individualist commitment to liberty and free choice.

Fan was graduated from the Baotou College of Medicine in China and holds a doctoral degree in philosophy from Rice University. He is the author of more than 40 articles on cross-cultural studies in bioethics and the philosophy of medicine and is the editor of ?Confucian Bioethics." He is assistant editor of the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy and co-editor of the International Journal of Chinese and Comparative Philosophy of Medicine. He serves on the editorial board of Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy and is directing a research project on “Informed Consent and Chinese Familism” funded by the Hong Kong Research Grant Council.

The lecture is sponsored by the Notre Dame Alumni Association’s Alumni Continuing Education office as the 19th annual J. Philip Clarke Family Lecture in Medical Ethics. The Clarke lecture is the keynote address for the Alumni Association’s annual meeting of Notre Dame alumni physicians.

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